Increase the Decibel of Heaven

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” – Luke 5:16

In the kickoff of our series on Sunday at Kfirst, we emphasized that God loves to speak to us. Like Joseph, God can give us a vision for our lives that set our feet upon a path. But before we get to the path to follow, we need to hear from God. And I truly believe that God still speaks to us.

Many people I talk to believes God still speaks (Christian and non-Christian). But most of them will tell me, though they believe God still speaks today, they do not think God speaks to them personally.

You may be one of those who feel that way. I’ve been there; I understand. And my encouragement to you is simple this: increase the decibel of heaven.

It’s easy to place blame on God not speaking. But I find, personally, there isn’t a lack of God’s communication as much as there’s a lack of me being in position to listen to him. Luke 5:16 has been a very precious and impactful passage to me.  Jesus knew the value of withdrawing away from the noise of culture and crowds in order to “increase the volume of heaven.”

Step 1: Decrease the volume of life. In an age where our senses are constantly engaged at all hours of the day by multiple screens and people, it seems our culture’s volume continues to increase. And instead of strategically looking to “turn up” the voice of God in our lives, we allow ourselves to be victimized by the amplification of the noise in our lives. Have that Jesus-driven audacity to take control of the moment and “withdraw” away (even if it’s for a few moments). 

Step 2: Increase the decibels of heaven.  Learn to hear from God by turning up the “decibel of heaven.” Engage in an activity that positions your attention in God’s direction. Read the scriptures (get a reading plan). Plan a time of fasting and prayer. Go for a walk in nature (my favorite). Find someone to serve. Have a conversation with a trusted friend. Pick a worship song that speaks to you and digest the lyrics. I believe God is speaking all the time. I just don’t believe we are positioning ourselves to listen.

Do you need a God-dream for your life? Do you need to hear from the Lord? Perhaps the most simplistic approach that definitely takes effort and purpose to do is to “increase the decibel of heaven.” Posture your heart and receive from Him.

 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Just Another Rooster”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we continued our series at Kfirst. Every June we look to pour into marriages and this year our series is called, “Senseless.” It was four years ago I read Genesis 2:15-17 and saw the 5 senses at work. 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it (VISION; TOUCH). And the Lord God commanded the man, saying (HEAR), “You may surely eat(TASTE; SMELL) of every tree of the garden.

The senses were there to not just experience what God provided but to explore what God gifted humanity with. It gave a fascinating view of bringing health to the complexity of relationships, especially marriage.

This week, we look at the sense of “hearing.” And when I think about hearing, I think about communication. Communication doesn’t guarantee health, it give health an opportunity to develop in a relationship by allowing a husband and wife to get on the same page.

Check out this week’s message:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • One of the best ways to practice the presence of God is in the manner of how you talk.
  • Does your voice pierce the darkness or create it?
  • Every word we speak is an opportunity to build others up or tear them down; to give God glory or promote our own importance.
  • The way you say something is just as important as what you are saying.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

BTW: Here’s the new song we used yesterday.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Developing a Hearing Heart”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and long workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together. 

We took a break from our current series at Kfirst to have our District Superintendent, Jeff Hlavin, with us. He brought a tremendous message from Mark 4:1-25 as he challenged our hearing by saying this:

Out of scripture, Jeff showed us:
  1. Jesus is concerned THAT we hear: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:23
  2. Jesus is concerned WHAT we hear: “And He was saying to them, ‘Take care what you listen to . . .” Mark 4:24
  3. Jesus is concerned HOW we hear: “Therefore take care how you listen . . .” Luke 8:18

Jesus is constantly speaking, but it is up to us to learn His voice and to listen to what He is saying. It’s a huge part of discipleship. And discipleship is a process of growth that we NEVER grow out of. In fact, your discipleship reveals your roots.

Jeff wrapped up with the words of Jesus declaring that a hearing heart will:

  1. Bring forth a bountiful harvest in your life (Mark 4:20).
  2. Give an opportunity for witness for you (Mark 4:21).
  3. Bring additional revelation to you (Mark 4:22).
  4. Be the basis for further development of a hearing heart for your life (Mark 4:24,25).

This week, as you are spending some time in the Word and in prayer this week, listen for how God is speaking to you. If you need a scripture reading plan, check out this one. God is always speaking, but most of the time, we’re too busy to listen.

Love you all.  See you on Sunday!

BTW, here’s a song this week for your devotions playlist:

2 Minute Marriage Devo – Day 15

Welcome to our 2 Minute Devos. This month we are in our Annual Marriage Series at Kalamazoo First Assembly of God and we’re going through devotions for couples. Take the time to read through the passage of the day and listen to the 2 Minute Devo.

Proverbs 20:12

The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.

2 Minute Devo Series: Book of Matthew Day 12

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Welcome to our 2 Minute Devos.  This month we’re going through the Book of Matthew.  Take the time to read through the passage of the day and listen to the 2 Minute Devo.

Matthew 11

The Message (MSG)

John the Baptizer

11 When Jesus finished placing this charge before his twelve disciples, he went on to teach and preach in their villages.

2-3 John, meanwhile, had been locked up in prison. When he got wind of what Jesus was doing, he sent his own disciples to ask, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?”

4-6 Jesus told them, “Go back and tell John what’s going on:

The blind see,
The lame walk,
Lepers are cleansed,
The deaf hear,
The dead are raised,
The wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side.

“Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed!”

7-10 When John’s disciples left to report, Jesus started talking to the crowd about John. “What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A prophet? That’s right, a prophet! Probably the best prophet you’ll ever hear. He is the prophet that Malachi announced when he wrote, ‘I’m sending my prophet ahead of you, to make the road smooth for you.’

11-14 “Let me tell you what’s going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer; but in the kingdom he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him. For a long time now people have tried to force themselves into God’s kingdom. But if you read the books of the Prophets and God’s Law closely, you will see them culminate in John, teaming up with him in preparing the way for the Messiah of the kingdom. Looked at in this way, John is the ‘Elijah’ you’ve all been expecting to arrive and introduce the Messiah.

15 “Are you listening to me? Really listening?

16-19 “How can I account for this generation? The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents, ‘We wanted to skip rope, and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk, but you were always too busy.’ John came fasting and they called him crazy. I came feasting and they called me a lush, a friend of the riffraff. Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

20 Next Jesus let fly on the cities where he had worked the hardest but whose people had responded the least, shrugging their shoulders and going their own way.

21-24 “Doom to you, Chorazin! Doom, Bethsaida! If Tyre and Sidon had seen half of the powerful miracles you have seen, they would have been on their knees in a minute. At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you. And Capernaum! With all your peacock strutting, you are going to end up in the abyss. If the people of Sodom had had your chances, the city would still be around. At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you.”

25-26 Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.”

27 Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

2 Minute Devo: “Can you hear me?”

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We started a new series this month called “His Faithfulness” We are looking at the faithfulness of God revealed to us in the scripture.  Take time to read the passage here on the blog or in your own bible.

Today’s scripture: 1 John 5:14-15

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

2 Minute Devo: “Open Ear”

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We started a new series this month called “His Faithfulness” We are looking at the faithfulness of God revealed to us in the scripture.  Take time to read the passage here on the blog or in your own bible.

Today’s scripture: Psalm 61

1 O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
2 From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
3     for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
4 Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings! Interlude

5 For you have heard my vows, O God.
You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.
6 Add many years to the life of the king!
May his years span the generations!
7 May he reign under God’s protection forever.
May your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over him.
8 Then I will sing praises to your name forever
as I fulfill my vows each day.